RESEARCHERS at the University of Michigan in the US have developed the 'world's smallest computer'. With sides measuring just 0.3 mm, the device is dwarfed by grain of rice.

Although the jury is still out on whether it can technically be defined as a ''computer'' this tiny device features a processor, RAM and wireless transmitters and receivers.

It receives and transmits data with visible light. A base station provides light for power and programming, and it receives the data. The research was carried out in partnership with Fujitsu.

For the time being, the only practical application of this light featured 0.04mm3 wireless and batteryless sensor system is as precision temperature sensor. The device is capable of reporting temperatures in minuscule regions - such as a cluster of cells - with an error of about 0.1C.

It could, therefore, find use as a precision measurement tool in the medical field, with applications in oncology, for example, for measuring temperatures in tumors.

The news comes after IBM unveiled a 1 x 1 mm ''computer.'' smaller than a grain of rock salt, in March 2018.

This fully autonomous  device essentially comprises of hundreds of thousands of transistors and some RAM, and like its tiny rival, is powered by a  photovoltaic cell. [Agencies].


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